Yesterday the dogs got their coats stripped. Poor Rigsby was struggling to see through his eyebrows and hasn’t been able to negotiate the stairs, which is tricky when we live in an upside down house, so for the last fortnight we’ve been carrying him up. Shackleton has also taken full advantage of Rigsby’s visual impairment, to sneak in and grab his carrots from under his nose.
Today he’s like a different dog and was first up the stairs to get his carrot!
I work away quite a lot and this means overnight stays in hotels. Phil sends me photos of home and the boys to lift my spirits. I know that the dogs miss me as much as I miss them and sometimes this manifests as refusal to eat, while for me it’s a case of eating things I shouldn’t. Speaking of which, Shackleton found my embroidery silks which I’d left on a chair and while Phil was out, he chewed the colour-key card to which they were attached. The result resembled spaghetti with a side of confetti. A perfect marriage.
The sampler is one I’m working on for the next village show so untangling the spaghetti will be interesting. My lesson for the day was to always put things away.
I’ve been working away from home this week in the Midlands. I really miss Phil and the boys when I’m stuck in a hotel room on my own but we have started to use FaceTime which is way better than a phone call. The view out of my city window was blue skies and winter sunshine but I was surprised to see snow out of our window in Armathwaite. Phil sent me these lovely pictures of our Snow Dog … Rigsby. He loves to roll in it whereas Shackleton doesn’t quite get what’s so great about it !
It is often said that the Inuit have 50 different words for snow but researchers have discovered that the Scots have even more. So far they have catalogued 421 different Scots words for the white stuff. So when we needed inspiration to name our two new white Silkie bantams, we turned to the Historical Thesaurus of Scots compiled by the University of Glasgow
Rigsby and Shackleton were very interested in the new arrivals. Welcome Skelf; a large snowflake and Katty-clean-doors; a child’s name for snow.
It was an early September morning and Phil was photographing the play of sunlight in the garden.
We have used reclaimed railway sleepers to retain the gravel paths between the raised beds. Just a perfect walkway for two inquisitive Border Terriers to conduct their early morning patrol.
Once they were quite sure the garden was as it should be, it was playtime.
There is an autumnal feel to the air but still plenty of flowers for the bees
and a fabulous crop of crabs, perfect for Phil’s chutney. Last year he made damson and crab with red onion but this year a late heavy frost took all the damson and sloe blossom and there isn’t a single damson or sloe to be had anywhere in the village. This year’s recipe will include red gooseberry, crab and red onion.